Florida State has become famous across the country for its elder population in nursing homes. At the same time, nursing homes have become infamous for stories of nursing home abuse and other forms of harm coming to the elderly who live in such communities and facilities. If you have an elderly relative currently living in a nursing home, as most of us do in Florida, you must be aware that, in most cases, spotting and stopping nursing home abuse ultimately becomes the responsibility of their close family members and loved ones.
Keep an eye out for these signs of nursing home abuse:
- Bedsores: Commonly claimed to be an inevitable consequence of an elder staying in bed for the majority of the day, bedsores can and should be avoided with routine bedding changes and mandatory shifting. Negligent nursing home staff may inadvertently cause abuse by not ensuring that elders do not develop bedsores.
- Malnutrition: Elders generally need to eat less than younger generations, but they still need to eat enough to maintain a healthy weight. If your elder is growing skinny or losing skin color, they could be malnourished either due to negligence or intentional underfeeding.
- Dirty conditions: If nursing home staff cannot maintain a clean environment in which elders can live, they probably cannot provide for them all the care they need for a happy, healthy life. Dirt, grime, and soiled laundry are a telltale sign that something is wrong.
- Mood swings: Uncharacteristic fright, nervousness, or aggression in your elder could be their reaction to being abused, mentally or physically, by nursing home staff. Intimidation or direct threats might be keeping them from speaking their minds openly to you.
I Think My Elder is Being Abused – What Do I Do?
If you are confident that there is some form of abuse – whether it be intentional and malicious or absentminded negligence – you can and should inform the authorities. Tell the nursing home management of your complaint after the police have been notified and take steps to remove your elder from that facility as soon as possible. Remember: protecting them is your responsibility.
You can also pursue financial compensation for you and your elder’s hardships. Depending on the extent of the abuse, this could cover medical costs, nominal damages for emotional trauma, and the expenses you paid the nursing home. Our Stuart and Martin County nursing home abuse attorneys can help you file your claim. Call Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC at 866-675-4427 to set up a free case evaluation today.